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Paintings: Reflections and Arguments

Paintings: Reflections and Arguments Exhibition - Riverhouse Barn Walton On Thames, 25th Feb-8th March 2009

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Having painted for over 20 years, I have explored the changing face of its representation, its transitions in gender politics, for example, its complex psychology, its aesthetic,and identities. I have painted on canvas the representation of different media such as wood, stone, photography, pastels, projections,prints and sculpture. I believe it is possible to paint concepts, ideas,ideologies in Painting. One can explore modernist art despite a climate favoring conceptual art.

I still mainly paint semi-figurative art because I want to communicate to a larger audience but also because I believe there is a potential market for my work within the 'Art market' , and reaching the broadest audience shouldn't impede the message a Painter wants to give. However I am mindful that making a living from being a creative mustn't reduce the quality of work or interfere with being an independent voice free to wrestle with issues as I choose .

I would like to say that the aesthetic potential of Painting could be cutting edge in a way that coneptual or installation Art isn't. I believe that it could explain contemporary issues to a public caught-up via T.V and other popular technology. The public is also no longer shocked or alienated by 'modernist Art. It has shown a willingness to overlook the angst and turmoil of twentieth centuries ideologies and even their debunking. Whilst I reject the celebrity status of Artist's and prominent figure's who are draping the flag of smugness, I side with the 'stuckists' who also feel that conceptual art can be puerile and incestuous.

The fall of the Iron Curtain in the 90s, apartheid destroyed in South Africa, the Sandanista's failure in free fair elections, the rise of China as a superpower,the competitive new economies like India and Brazil, and the rise of Islamicisation at times of global financial turmoil, have all transformed the way I see the world as an individual and as an Painter. In the mid 1980s some historians said that Painting was dead',it is my challenge to demonstrate the opposite in a world that is genuinely transforming us all but without the narrative of over-used and dead ideologies.

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